As you might have noticed I was quite active in the balancing forums in the last couple of months as this was the only way for me to stay in touch with the game as I was traveling.
Many meaningful points were raised in the last couple on months, I don't want to go into detail. When looking at the most recent balance patch I am, quite frankly, a bit puzzled. As someone who thinks quite a bit about the game, and who really has an open mind when it comes to changes as long as they can be explained, I still believe that the balancing team has not really done a good job.
Here is my criticism:
of all the potential issues on the plate, I feel like in terms of prioritisation the changes are not important. Take the mex changes: it's a needless change, without any meaningful justification (tradeoff between reclaim and mex assist better? Are you kidding me? That sounds like complete bullshit and only increases eco gameplay because it effectively becomes cheaper to eco than before, which is definitely not what the eco heavy meta needs)
the shard change comes extremely late. Every since I play faf (3-4 years) the shard is absolutely useless, and it apparently took 3-4 years and longer ( I assume it has always been useless) to make a change here.
changes like the bomber change, the lab change, the mex changes, come totally out of the blue without any sort of public debate. I don't say that people like funkoff should have any say in balance changes, but at least present it to the public and have a debate about the changes, and don't just present the community with facts. And in my books faf beta is not a debate. It should be a forum debate, or another form of engagement with the community. Especially when it comes to choosing priorities for future balance patches
sometimes the balance forum comes up with legitimate points of imbalance or improvement opportunities for the game, and currently except for the occasional condescending statement I see no engagement by the balance team with these issues. It almost seems to me as if for a lack of counterargument some issues are just left on the table, mix in a little bit of favouritism and pride. This has to change, a well formulated balance suggestions with well formulated support by top players stands as an open issue, and the balance team should have the responsibility to engage with it. Otherwise we might as well close the balance forums. Surely a lot of complete bullshit is raised here by people who just don't know any better, but at the same time many very good points are raised, and it is the duty of the balance team to weed out and isolate the good ideas.
It's even a source for inspiration, let the community do the work of identifying improvement opportunities for you, and just pick them up and work from there. The way this is handled currently seems like a waste of resources, and it's even disrespectful to the community members who try to help and improve the game.
Anyway, this is not intended to be a rant, but rather it is a request to the balance team to take the forum more seriously, and engage with the attitude of a councillor or a person of responsibility with the information presented here. At the end of the day it's going to make the balancing process more transparent, more resourceful and will feel more rewarding for community members who care.
Maybe sandbox streams of the balancing team once every fortnight could be a nice idea, but anything really to involve the cloud.